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9:45 AM ET, September 8, 2016


 Top Items: 
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
Matt Lauer's Pathetic Interview of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump Is the Scariest Thing I've Seen in This Campaign  —  I had not taken seriously the possibility that Donald Trump could win the presidency until I saw Matt Lauer host an hour-long interview with the two major party candidates.
Michael M. Grynbaum / New York Times:
Matt Lauer Fields Storm of Criticism Over Clinton-Trump Forum  —  It was a high-stakes political moment, far from the chummier confines of the “Today” show and, for Matt Lauer, NBC's stalwart of the morning, a chance to prove his broadcasting mettle on the presidential stage.  —  The consensus afterward was not kind.
Byron York / Washington Examiner:
As debates near, forum shows potential Trump advantage  —  NBC's “Commander in Chief Forum,” held Wednesday night aboard the USS Intrepid in New York, was the closest thing to a debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton until the real thing on Sept. 26.
Michael Calderone / The Huffington Post:
Matt Lauer Failed The Moderator Test  —  At NBC's “Commander-in-Chief Forum,” the host let Donald Trump slide on false Iraq and Libya claims he's made all campaign.  —  NEW YORK Wednesday night's “Commander-in-Chief Forum” on NBC should have gone down as the first time the two 2016 presidential candidate shared a stage.
Matt Flegenheimer / New York Times:
Here's What You Missed in the Presidential Forum  —  Hillary Clinton and Donald J. Trump squared off from the same stage Wednesday evening — if not exactly face to face — in a televised forum on national security and veterans issues.  The candidates appeared and took questions separately …
Jeremy Herb / Politico:
‘Embarrassing to our country’: Trump suggests he'll fire top generals  —  Donald Trump trod into uncharted territory Wednesday night when he suggested that if elected he might fire some of the top generals now running the military.  —  As the Republican presidential nominee slammed …
Matthew Yglesias / Vox:
Matt Lauer totally blew it on Trump's blatant lying about Iraq and Libya  —  “I heard Hillary Clinton say I was not against the war in Iraq,” Donald Trump told Matt Lauer during Wednesday night's Commander-in-Chief Forum.  “I was totally against the war in Iraq.  You can look at Esquire magazine from 2004.
Associated Press:
The Latest: Clinton Camp: Trump Has ‘No Plan’ for IS
Discussion: Politico
NBC News:
Commander-In-Chief Forum  —  Who is better qualified to serve …
Ryan Lovelace / Washington Examiner:
Veteran confronts Clinton on handling of classified info
Discussion: White House Dossier
Patrick Healy / New York Times:
Forum Offers Preview of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump Presidential Debate
Discussion: The Atlantic and Vox Popoli
Amie Parnes / The Hill:
Clinton campaign warns media to tread carefully  —  's campaign is working the refs hard when it comes to reports about her health.  —  While Clinton responded to a fit of coughing this week with humor, saying she was “allergic” to GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump
Daniel Strauss / Politico:
Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson: ‘What is Aleppo?’  —  Asked what he would do about the Syrian city of Aleppo, the region at the center of that nation's civil war and refugee crisis, Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson responded by asking, “what is Aleppo?”
Discussion: RedState, ABC News and New York Times
Gary Johnson asks: What is Aleppo?  —  Mike Barnicle asks Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson how he would handle Aleppo, Syria as president.  Johnson responds. ...  more Duration: {{video.duration.momentjs}}
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Dems sound alarm on Senate majority  —  The campaign chairman for Senate Democrats on Wednesday warned his colleagues that if the elections were held today, the party would gain only three Senate seats, according to lawmakers who were in the room.  —  That outcome would leave Democrats …
Seung Min Kim / Politico:
Merrick Garland to visit Senate again
Katie Glueck / Politico:
Trump's shrinking swing state map  —  Two months from Election Day, Donald Trump's swing state map is shrinking.  —  Interviews with more than two dozen Republican operatives, state party officials and elected leaders suggest three of the 11 battleground states identified by POLITICO …
Discussion: The Week
Aaron Blake / Washington Post:
Donald Trump's thoroughly strange claim about his Mexico visit  —  Donald Trump made the case Wednesday night that he would be a studied and steady commander-in-chief during an NBC forum — the first matchup between him and Hillary Clinton on the same stage of the 2016 general election.
Discussion: NPR and New York Magazine
Evan Perez / CNN:
First on CNN: FBI director defends Clinton email probe, document releases  —  Washington (CNN)FBI Director James Comey is defending the bureau's Friday afternoon release of documents from the Hillary Clinton email investigation, saying “we don't play games” and that the documents were put out when ready.
Associated Press:
Obama: Americans will reject Trump's ‘wacky’ ideas  —  VIENTIANE, Laos (AP) — President Barack Obama said Thursday that Republican Donald Trump proves he isn't qualified to be president “every time he speaks,” adding that he was confident Americans would ultimately reject the brash billionaire on Election Day.
Discussion: Guardian
Ryan Lochte — Suspended for 10 Months  —  EXCLUSIVE  —  Ryan Lochte just got his punishment for his Rio gas station hijinks, and we're told the U.S. Olympic Committee was tough, but not career-ending.  —  USOC connected sources tell TMZ Sports ... Lochte has been suspended for 10 months.
Morning Call:
Union workers walk out at Just Born, maker of Peeps, in first strike in decades  —  Of The Morning Call … BETHLEHEM — Kenneth Ayers has worked 38 years at Just Born Quality Confections — a job he says has been mostly rewarding, except during labor talks.
Discussion: WCMH-TV
Byron Tau / Wall Street Journal:
Colin Powell Gave Hillary Clinton Tips on How to Avoid Email Scrutiny  —  Former secretary of state warned of danger in BlackBerry use  —  WASHINGTON—Former Secretary of State Colin Powell told Hillary Clinton at the start of her tenure at the State Department that he used a personal computer …
Morning Consult:
50-State Poll: Hillary Clinton Still Leads Where It Matters  —  How the Election Has Changed Since the Conventions  —  Hillary Clinton would top Donald Trump 321-195 in electoral votes to clinch the White House if the election were held today, according to an extensive Morning Consult analysis of registered voters.
Discussion: Guardian
Allegra Kirkland / Talking Points Memo:
RNC Chief Criticized For Telling Clinton To ‘Smile’ During National Security Forum  —  Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus gave Hillary Clinton's performance at Wednesday's NBC town hall negative marks because, in part, he didn't like her facial expression.
Manu Raju / CNN:
Cornyn declines to back Cruz ahead of Senate primary  —  Donald Trump renews rivalry with Ted Cruz  —  Washington (CNN)Texas Sen. Ted Cruz shouldn't expect much help from the senior GOP senator from his state, John Cornyn, ahead of a potential Senate primary challenge next cycle.
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 More Items: 
Jim Geraghty / National Review:
The Problem with Temporarily Embracing Julian Assange
Discussion: Hot Air and RealClearPolitics
Elizabeth Warren / New York Times:
What Apple Teaches Us About Taxes
Discussion: Business Insider
Patrick Foster / Telegraph:
Kremlin-backed broadcaster RT offers Nigel Farage his own show
Discussion: Business Insider
Colum Lynch / Foreign Policy:
Dinner, Drinks, and a Near-Fatal Ambush for U.S. Diplomats
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Louis Nelson / Politico:
Trump insists he can win New York
Rachael Bade / Politico:
Freedom Caucus eyes biggest power grab since Boehner
 Earlier Items: 
Brian Beutler / New Republic:
The Media Coverage of Hillary Clinton Is Out of Whack
Discussion: The Federalist, Raw Story and Politico
Jason Nevel / State Journal Register:
600 District 186 children sent home for not getting required physicals, shots
Discussion: WQAD-TV and Associated Press
Matthew Nussbaum / Politico:
Pence breaks with Trump, says Obama born in Hawaii